The wedding season is finally here! In order to achieve glowing skin and healthy lustrous hair for the D-day, the would-be brides who are getting prepared for the wedding vows will have to follow a disciplined lifestyle and regular skin and hair care program. Most of us fail to realise that stress and tiredness often tends to have a direct impact on our face and eyes and no amount of make-up will ever be able to change that. Work in advance on your body, plan your shopping and arrangements, discipline your lifestyle, eat healthy, and above all relax and rest! Treat your pre-wedding period as your spa period. Detox, eat healthy food and consume lots of natural liquids.
In the following article learn how to make your skin glow and body feel healthier and rejuvenated.
For Dry Skin: If you happen to have a dry skin, then the first and foremost thing to do is to keep it hydrated internally and externally. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Include lots of dairy products in your diet like milk, cheese, yogurt and clarified butter! Yes, you read that right! Add ghee to your dal, rice, chapattis, etc. If you have a dry skin, add dry fruits to your diet like almonds, walnuts, raisins, figs and cashews. Flaxseeds can turn out to be quite beneficial as well. Avocado is great for your skin and you should eat it and apply it on face to reap its maximum benefits. Here's a wonderful dry skin mask that you can use twice a week-
Half mashed avocado
1 tsp honey
Paste of 2 walnuts and 2 almonds
Mix all the ingredients with milk and apply to cleaned skin. Leave for 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water and pat dry.
Another wonderful way of bringing glow to dry skin is to massage it with 1 tsp of almond oil mixed with honey. Apart from this, drink warm honey lemon water everyday first thing in the morning as it not only clears your system but also brings a glow to your skin. Chironji, which is extensively used in mithais, along with ground aniseed and three whole marigold buds, make for an excellent mask for dry skin. Not only does it reduces blemishes but also moisturises the skin to a great extent.
For Oily Skin:
If you have an oily skin, then be careful about what you eat and try and focus more on raw foods and lightly cooked food, which is steamed, grilled or even baked. You diet should include lots of salad sticks, yogurt dips, hummus and fresh fruits. I recommend at least three oranges a day for all brides to build up their immunity levels and also to increase their Vitamin C intake, which will eventually help in clarifying the skin.
Water is your skin's ambrosia and 10 to 12 glasses of water is recommended for consumption besides cooling chaach, coconut water, vegetable juices, etc. Avoid fried foods, heavy gravy foods, and sweets.
You can make the following masks to reduce oiliness and make your skin glow:
- 2 tsp fuller's earth
- 1 tsp fresh mint paste
- A pinch of camphor
- Rose water to mix to a smooth paste
Not only is this mask excellent for increasing blood circulation but it also has anti-bacterial properties that will help reduce oiliness, dissuade pimples and acne and porcelain your skin. Use it three times a week.
Keep your skin clean and oil free at all times. For this, it is important that you wipe your skin with rose water several times a day.
Mix well all the above mentioned ingredients and apply to the skin for 15 minutes. This will help reduce the tan and oiliness and the natural starch in the potato will help tighten your skin, giving it a younger and more youthful look.
For Normal Skin:
Be wise and take on a regular skin care programme. Massage with 2 tsp of either honey or yoghurt and wash off after 5-7 minutes. This will keep the skin well hydrated and moisturised. You could use the following mask cum scrub for improving your skin's texture-
- Mix the ingredients with cold milk and apply to the skin until it is semi-dry. Dab with rose water, scrub gently and wash off with cold water.
- If you have a normal skin type, do not neglect your diet and continue to have lots of fruits and green leafy vegetable. Include soups, healthy homemade broths and stews in your diet. Eat light but healthy.
- Another super face mask for pre-bridal skin care is the flower power mask that I highly recommend to brides-to-be. Not only does your skin feel and look wonderful but you will feel luxurious and pampered at the same time as well.
Coffee is one beverage that is loved by people across the world. It has become our ideal go-to beverage, without which most of our things may go for a toss. Don't believe us? Ask any coffee lover, they will tell you better. Imagine a day without drinking your beloved cup of coffee - your mornings will be sluggish, you will feel lazy all day long, you won't be productive at work; moreover, you will rely more on frizzy energy drinks to keep yourself active and focussed. But, thank heavens that we have coffee to keep our things aligned for us. Did you know that other than keeping you active and focussed (thanks to the presence of caffeine in coffee), coffee can also help your skin get soft, supple and glowing? Yes, that's right! Coffee scrub helps clear off the dirt and dead cells from the skin. Scrubbing your skin will not only give you a soft and supple skin but will also tighten your skin and reduce those unwanted black spots. Moreover, if findings of various studies are to be believed, coffee prevents wrinkles and fine lines caused by harmful rays of sun. If you're still not convinced, try these coffee scrubs and see the results by yourself.
Here Are 5 DIY Coffee Scrubs For Skin And Body:
Coffee Cinnamon Scrub
Coffee is an excellent exfoliator that helps gently clear off the dead skin cells and can give you a soft and glowing skin right after the first use. Moreover, coffee removes excess oil from the face and body, while cinnamon keeps all the infections and irritation at bay.
- 1 cup coffee ground
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup sugar
How to make:
Take a bowl and heat the coconut oil in it. Now, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it cool down for some time. However, keep an eye on coffee, as it may dissolve completely in the oil. Once the mixture is cool, pour it in an airtight jar and apply it on your body during the shower every alternate day.
Coffee And Rose Water Face Scrub
Using rose water on skin has multiple benefits. Rose water consists of anti-inflammatory properties that are known to treat skin irritation, acnes and dermatitis. Moreover, rose water is an excellent skin cleanser that helps in removing dirt and oil that usually clog our pores.
- 1 cup ground coffee
- 2 teaspoon rose water
How to make:
Take a bowl and mix both the ingredients in it. Apply the mixture to your face and body and massage in a circular motion. Put it on for not more than 20 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.
Coffee And Aloe Vera Scrub
Aloe vera can be used in winters as well as in summers by people of all skin types. "Aloe vera is packed with multivitamins, including vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, which are known to nourish our skin and prevent premature aging. Moreover, aloe vera helps moisturise our skin, without making it too oily, which is a good thing for the people with oily skin," says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Skincare Expert.
- 1 cup coffee grounds
- 5 teaspoon aloe vera gel
How to make:
Take bowl and mix all the ingredients in it. Now, apply this coffee scrub on your face or body in a circular motion. Massage it for 10-15 minutes. Make sure you massage it softly. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.
Coffee Honey Face And Body Scrub
Honey is a fabulous skin moisturiser that works amazing on dry and patchy skin. Moreover, it is its antibacterial properties that keep all the infections and irritations at bay. As per beauty experts, applying honey onto your face in winters may keep intact the moisture in your skin and keep it hydrated.
Take a large bowl and mix all the ingredients in it till a paste is formed. Make sure there are no lumps in the paste. Apply this paste on your face and body while bathing. Keep it for 10-15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.
5. Coffee Shea Butter Scrub
Shea butter is believed to be a skin superfood. Why, you ask? It is packed with multivitamins like vitamin A, E and F, essential fatty acids and other micronutrients - all of which are important for the production of collagen. Moreover, shea butter protects our skin from the harmful UV rays.
Take a bowl and add melted coconut oil along with other ingredients to it. Mix well until you get a paste-like consistency. Apply the paste to your face and body and massage gently while bathing. Massage it for 10-15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.
The best part of these homemade DIY coffee scrubs is that your skin doesn't have to deal with any chemical-laden skin products and is totally safe. But, before introducing any new ingredient to your skincare routine, make sure you consult your dermatologist.
Aloe vera is one of the most well-known and widely used plants that is known for its medicinal and general health benefits. It is not only considered great for health of the body, but is also said to be great for the skin and hair. Also known as ghritkumari in Hindi, aloe vera has found widespread acceptance around the world, due to its many incredible health benefits, as well as relative ease of growing it. Aloe plants can be found in the kitchen gardens and indoor potted plant gardens of numerous houses, because the plant grows easily and quickly. It requires minimal care and the gel from the leaves, which is the main edible part, can also be easily extracted and put to various uses.
A lot of people only use aloe vera and its products to improve the quality of their skin and hair. Aloe vera juices are widely available in grocery stores and online. But aloe vera is said to be at its nutritional best, when consumed raw and unprocessed. This is why it is grown at homes and often used in foods and drinks. It has a mild herbaceous flavour and almost a neutral taste, which is what makes it a healthy ingredient to add to your diet. Let's look at the health benefits of aloe vera, before looking at the various ways that we can add it to our diets.
Aloe Vera Nutrition and Health Benefits
1. Rich in Antioxidants:
Aloe vera is said to have a number of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, due to the abundance of plant compounds polyphenols in it. Aloe vera, both when applied topically and consumed, can improve your skin and hair quality.
2. Boosts Digestion:
Aloe is said to be great for ensuring smooth functioning of the digestive system. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, aloe has laxative properties and is great for improving and balancing intestinal flora. This means that it increases the levels of good bacteria in the gut and expels harmful parasites from the digestive tract.
3. May Help Diabetics:
Some human and animal studies have shown that aloe vera may help people suffering from Type-2 diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity and may help manage blood sugar levels. However, this benefit may need more research before it can be established as a fact.
4. May Promote Weight Loss:
Consuming aloe vera may also help a person manage their weight. The gel is known to have detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also known to boost immunity and digestion, which may indirectly help in weight loss.
How To Consume Aloe Vera
1. Juice it: The easiest way to consume aloe vera is to juice it. Cut your aloe leaf into small sections, remove the upper bright green layer of the leaf and then scoop the gel out. Make sure the thin yellowish latex layer between the leaf and the gel is also removed. Wash the gel and add it to food processor along with coconut water/plain water and a little honey for sweetening, and blend. You can add your favourite juices including apple or cucumber juice to the mix.
2. Add the leaves to salads: Apart from the gel, aloe vera leaves are also generally considered safe for consumption. You can wash and chop fresh aloe vera leaves (make sure you remove the spiky ends, separate the flat green leaves from the latex and the gel and wash it thoroughly) and toss it along with your summer salads. Aloe leaves can add crunchiness to your salads.
3. Add the gel to salad dressings:Aloe vera gel can be added to salad dressings. Due to its slimy texture, it can be mixed with ingredients like olive oil, vinegar easily. Aloe vera can make for a nutritious salad dressing.
4. Freeze it as ice-cubes: Aloe vera is used to soothe burns. The diluted gel can be poured into an ice-cube tray and frozen and then applied to the affected area for immediate relief. These cubes can also be put to use in smoothies. Just add a few of these aloe gel cubes to your blender while making fruit smoothies and blend!
While preparing aloe vera for consumption at home, one must make sure that the latex is completely removed as that's the only part of the plant that may have side-effects. It's not recommended to consume aloe vera daily and it is advisable to speak to a dietitian or a nutrition expert before adding aloe vera to your diet.
It’s that time of the year when chai becomes a little less favoured and nimbu-soda is available almost everywhere. Very soon, anything synthetic will be a no-no and cotton will be your go-to fabric. Umbrellas come out to give your sunscreen company, suede shoes get packed away. Yes, summer time is here. And with it, a whole host of skin care issues too. Oily skin gets oilier, and dry skin gets patchy. There are breakouts and pimples, rashes and roughness, and that acne just wouldn’t go away! Just a few simple changes in your everyday skin care regimen can ensure that you are all set to glow through this season too. Here are few summer skin care tips that can come quite handy. We spoke to Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, leading dermatologist and founder of Skin and Hair Clinics for expert advice on tackling the heat.
What does summer do to our skin?
According to Dr. Deepali, warmer temperatures mean it is time to change your skin care routine. The sunny Indian summer can be pretty harsh on your skin if you don't take care of your. So, just like your wardrobe, your skin care too definitely needs a seasonal change.
Too much sun is bad for your skin. Not only can you get tanned (which is not always a bad thing) but over exposure to sun rays can cause premature ageing of skin too. Our skin contains a pigment called melanin and too much exposure to sun causes more melanin to be produced. This is why a prolonged stay under the direct sun can cause a change in your skin colour or even tanning. This is also why sunscreens are recommended irrespective of your skin-type.
Here's a holistic list of summer skincare tips that would help all skin types.
1. Face care
Your face is your identity to the world, so you should look after it 365 days of the year. Summer months though, warrant a special skin care regimen – one that hydrates and keeps it clean and grime-free. Make sure you keep your face clean of dust and sweat through these hot months. A lot of people encounter break-outs and pimples in these months. If you are one of them, make sure you splash your face with water at least 3-4 times every day. No need to use a face wash every time, clean water would do just fine.
Dermatologist Dr Deepali also suggests exfoliation as a method to keep your face clean, "Using a scrub once or twice a week in summers for all skin types is important but, which scrub depends on your skin type. Acne prone skin needs multani mitti (fullers earth), chandan, rose water and basil whereas if you have dry and matured skin you should use egg white, lemon, chandan and curd with a pinch of turmeric and besan too".
2. Use weather appropriate products
The thick creams you were using through the winter months won’t do you any good now. Pack them away or use them for very dry areas of your body like the feet. Summer months need products that let your skin breathe naturally. Go for lighter lotions and serums. Products that block pores can cause more problems.
"Water-based moisturizers work best for normal skin types. For oily skin, gel-based moisturizers are preferred. For extra oily and acne prone skin, stick to facial sprays with minerals good for your skin', says Dr. Deepali. "Natural moisturizers like glycerin and rose water added to the bathing water helps a lot and applying plain curd for 10-15 minutes on all dry areas of the body before bathing works wonders too," she adds.
3. Stick to the basics
You may think your skin cannot get dry during summers but that’s a myth. Moving in and out of air-conditioned areas alone can cause your skin to dry out. This is applicable not just to facial skin but the entire body. Make sure you follow the age old principle of cleaning, toning and moisturizing at night before sleeping. Sweating can cause our skin pores to open up. You need to use a toner (after making sure the skin is clean) to help close these pores. Sticking to the basics during summers is even more important given the UV rays of the sun that could result in premature ageing and wrinkles.
4. Importance of sunscreen
Don't forget to wear sunscreen! UV rays can be harmful for your skin any time of the year, but more so in the summer months when our exposure levels are higher. Pick a sunscreen that gels into your skin and gets absorbed. A minimum SPF of 30 is recommended and must be applied 20-30 minutes before you head out into the sun. If you are going to be swimming, then keep re-applying as and when it gets washed out. Sunscreen application can go a long way in minimizing sun related spots and could even help delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.
Dr. Deepali suggests changing the brand you use every 6 months. And yes, people with oily skin must apply sunscreens too. “For oily skin, gel-based sunscreen is preferred, while combination and dry skin should use a sunscreen moisturizer with a matte finish if putting make up on it. Alternatively, use a cream based one which gets absorbed well without leaving a residual layer," she says.
5. Natural remedies
Never underestimate what your grandma said! There are ingredients in your kitchen which can help soothe the skin during summer. Lemon and tomato are very good for keeping your skin fresh. A quick way to use tomato is to juice tomatoes (don’t add water) and freeze the juice using your regular ice-trays. Use this as a gentle scrub every alternate day and let the juice dry on the skin before washing it off. The lycopene in tomato does wonders for the facial skin.
6. Don’t forget the eyes and lips
The sun’s rays are the harshest between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. during summer months. Avoid stepping out around these times. If you do step out, make sure your eyes are covered with sunglasses and lips protected with a balm. We often forget that the skin around the eyes is very delicate and needs extra attention. If too much heat is making your eyes burn, then wash them with clean and cold water. A couple of cold cotton pads dipped in potato juice can be soothing too. If the problem persists, do consult a doctor.
7. Maintain hygiene
Overall hygiene can go a long way in tackling the heat. Having a bath twice a day will not only keep your skin fresh, it will also help combat summer lethargy. If you are prone to prickly heat – a bucket-bath with neem leaves can help. People who suffer from body odour can also benefit from regular bathing. Chlorine water can speed up the process of tanning, that is the reason why we tan more in the pool than ordinarily. Make sure you bathe after a swim to get the chlorine off your body.
"Soaking hands and feet in water enriched with a pinch of salt will help boost blood circulation and after that applying a cream rich in urea and Vitamin C should help too," adds Dr Deepali.
8. Eat cooling foods
What we eat has a lot to do with how we look and feel. Eating heavy food is bound to make you sluggish in a weather like this. Additionally, it can make your skin oily and susceptible to breakouts. Go for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Stay away from sugary drinks that are full of calories. Make sure your intake of water is an optimum 8-10 glasses at least. Try vegetable juices and natural alternatives like nariyal pani to hydrate yourself and feel fresh.
9. Wear breathable fabrics
Cotton and lighter fabrics are a must to tackle the heat. Tight clothes can cause irritation and make sweaty parts of the body itch more. Prolonged conditions lead to rashes and sometimes even serious skin infections.
10. Don't fear the sun
Lastly, don’t be afraid of the sun as it is a mood enhancer. Sunlight helps us produce more seratonin – a mood boosting hormone. That’s exactly why days of no sun during winters can make you feel low. Just make sure you balance the outdoor travel with a good skin care regimen and protect yourself from the harmful impact of sun rays.
Pregnancy brings in many physiological and psychological changes in a woman. And you need to be very careful about things to do and not to do. You need to be prepared for certain unforeseen circumstances, but the trick is to know how to keep yourself free from some unwanted worries.
If you are pregnant and are eager to know about things to include and avoid during the nine months, MomJunction brings a guide for you.
Things To Avoid During Pregnancy:
There are many things you can’t do while pregnant, for your baby’s safety and good health.
1. Do not eat raw meats, unpasteurized dairy, raw foods, fried foods, etc. They may contain harmful microbes that can adversely affect yours and your baby’s health. Such foods also contribute to excessive weight gain.
2. Do not paint the nursery as the chemicals and solvents in the paints can be toxic and harmful. If you want to paint the nursery, then you can use natural or organic colors.
3. Do not go overboard on caffeine. It can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and you have to frequent to the loo. Also, caffeine passes through the placenta and increases the possibility of the baby developing diabetes.
4. Do not take medications without consulting your health practitioner. Certain medications may have specific dosage and should not be taken over-the-counter.
5. Do not wear stilettos and prefer heels that are three-inch or less, such as wedges, platforms, and kitten heels. Heels may make you uncomfortable as the body’s center of gravity changes. Also, you would feel better in flip-flops due to the swollen ankles.
6. Do not change the kitten litter as the feces can carry a rare parasitic disease, toxoplasmosis. Even if you do, wear gloves while changing and wash your hands after that.
7. Do not breathe secondhand smoke. It is linked to many complications including cancers, premature delivery, miscarriage, low birth weight babies, sudden infant death syndrome, and learning or behavioral issues as the baby grows.
8. Do not take alcohol including wine, liquor, and beer. It can quickly pass through the placenta and umbilical cord and affect the baby’s developing brain and organs. Alcohol also leads to premature birth, brain damage, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
9. Do not sit or stand for extended periods in the same position. It can hurt the ankles and veins. Take frequent breaks and move around to keep your legs elevated if you have been on your feet for some time.
10. Do not get carried away by contradictory information given in books, magazines, and online media. Trust your instincts and when in doubt, talk to your practitioner.
11. Do not take illegal drugs. Drugs are associated with increased chances of low birth weight babies, impaired neurobehavioral development in babies, birth defects, and withdrawal effects.
12. Do not eat hot dogs, cold-cuts, or other processed meats and soft cheeses as they possibly carry harmful bacteria listeria that make you and your baby vulnerable to many diseases.
13. Do not get in contact with reptiles such as lizards, turtles, iguanas, and snakes. Their feces pass salmonella virus into your system and can be dangerous.
14. Ensure there are no ticks as their bites can cause Lyme disease. The effects include permanent tooth discoloration in pregnant women and deformation of bones in the fetus.
15. Avoid vitamin A supplements unless advised by your healthcare practitioner. Having excessive vitamin A can lead to birth defects in the baby (2).
16. Stay away from video display terminals (VDTs), radios, high voltage power lines, telegraph transmissions, and various other common appliances and communication equipment. These emit harmful, non-ionizing radiations that may lead to abortions, birth defects, and genetic damages in babies .
17. Exposure to X-rays, especially abdominal X-rays, increase the risk of birth defects and cancers such as leukemia in babies later in life.
18. Do not stay near microwaves. They emit harmful electromagnetic radiation that could harm the fetus and lead to miscarriages.
19. Do not use an electric blanket. They emit low-level electromagnetic fields, which can be dangerous for the growing fetus.
20. Do not use a waterbed as the heaters used in them emit the same electric fields as electric blankets.
21. Do not drink tap water in early pregnancy stages as they are prone to contaminants and associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. You should have treated water.
22. Avoid stress especially at work. It can affect your immune system and increase the chance of infections leading to preterm labor and miscarriage.
23. Do not expose yourself to pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. They can have a variety of effects on your fetus, including miscarriage and preterm birth.
24. Avoid fumes from household cleaning products, paints, thinners, etc. They contain solvents, which on inhalation increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
25. Ensure that your body temperature is not above 101oF as it can be potentially dangerous for your developing fetus. The body temperature rises during flu, strenuous exercises, and fever .
26. Ensure good personal hygiene to stay away from contracting diseases such as herpes as it could lead to severe health complications in babies during delivery. In rare cases, it can also cause a miscarriage during the first trimester .
With so many ‘don’ts’ you might be thinking if there is anything that you can do during pregnancy. The answer is yes.